WOMAD NZ: The days were just packed! WPC

The World Of Music and Dance is held in March each year. Peter Gabrielle started this kind of festival in Britain 35 years ago. The friendliness of the local people, this venue in New Zealand as well as the line-up,  have made it a repeated success since 2003. It attracts big crowds.

Here’s the main stage “The Bowl” in Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.


And just a few of the 20+ performances I attended – 

Sudha Ragunathan, a devotional Carnatic singer from India, sang ethereal ragas in the quiet of the Dell Stage amongst the trees, beside the lake, on the first evening … uplifting & surreal.img_2365-1

Welsh Group 9bach fused traditional harp, dulcimer and bass guitar for both folk and modern songs … hypnotically Celtic.

Tago means ‘lighting up the world by beating drums.’ These guys from South Korea were masters, who played their drums like a martial art, mixed with buffoonery … summoning us.

There was something for everyone at the Night Market …


 and all day, lots of great food.

The crowds were not always dense. There was room for everyone.

As the sun went down, there was time for my favourite, Chai tea. Perfect! Oh …  and The Specials – that famous British ska band from the 70s? Definitely an unforgettable highlight. Am now a fan.(Too excited to get a photo.)

On the last night, I met Leanne, a friend of a friend, and while we were chatting she told us this story of what happened to her the day before WOMAD started. She gave me permission to tell this her way  –

I was just going into Spuds, the grocers, when I  noticed this guy on the pavement. When I saw what he was wearing, I thought that he must be here for WOMAD. He looked a bit worried so I went up and asked him if he was OK. He said that he and his friends couldn’t find their way back to their hotel.

Well, you know I’ve got an eight seater … he said there were three others in the group. So I said I could easily drop them off – If he could just wait till I got the rest of my groceries then I’d drive them all there, no problem.

Well, the four of them were there when I came out and I loaded them into the van and drove them to The Devon. Really, except for all the one-way streets, it was just round the corner.

Yes. They were performing at the weekend. He was the drummer and asked if I was going. I said no. It was beyond our budget. You know by the time there’s 2 adult tickets, meals for four and treats…

When I dropped them off at their hotel, he asked for my phone number.

I got a call next day saying to drop into the hotel. They had something  for me at Reception. Blow me, if it wasn’t two adult tickets! So … here we are. Wasn’t that kind of them? I mean, really, I wasn’t going very far out of my way!”


Drummer with fantastic singer, Aziza Brahim of the Saharawi people of the Western Sahara/Spain

Dense – For the Weekly Photo Challenge this week March 2017

All text  (except Leanne’s recount) and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


16 thoughts on “WOMAD NZ: The days were just packed! WPC

  1. Fantastic Meg!
    Thank you. We used to have a WOMAD near here in Redmond, Washington but it stopped due to lack of funding years back. What a delightful read and story.


  2. Pingback: Dense: Patterns | What's (in) the picture?

    • Hi Draco. I wrote it in the first person but it wasn’t me who helped the band out. Leanne (a local NZ I met there) told what had happened to her.
      Thanks for thinking it was me!


  3. Lovely photos, Meg, that really capture the spirit of the occasion. And I love your friend’s story–so like the fairy tales we hear and love, when one small kindness begets another unexpected one.


      • It says I am following your blog, but no notification comes. I always get back there and check to see if I’ve missed one or two, so don’t go to any trouble over it, Meg.


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